The Heat Is On

UN member countries sign a climate agreement, another young CEO is dead from an apparent drug overdose and 2018's newly crowned Miss Universe.

The Heat Is On

UN member countries sign a climate agreement, another young CEO is dead from an apparent drug overdose and 2018's newly crowned Miss Universe.
UN Climate Conference The Bullet

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✨  Good morning! Today is Monday, December 17, 2018 and if you’re thinking of quitting your job, you’re not the only one.


• The Background

Turns out world leaders are doing more of what they do best: a whole lot of talking the talk, but not walking the walk. Almost every nation in the world was at the United Nations’ climate summit this weekend, and while most agreed to “universal, transparent rules that will govern efforts to cut emissions and curb global warming,” environmental activists are not buying it. According to Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna more action is needed to actually make any sort of difference. Mohamed Adow, a climate policy expert at Christian Aid, seconded McKenna’s perspective, saying “The majority of the rulebook for the Paris agreement has been created, which is something to be thankful for, but the fact countries had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the finish line shows that some nations have not woken up.” (Ahem, ‘Merica.) CBC News

• What Else You Need to Know

The agreement left two major issues in the “to be determined” category: how a global emissions trading system would work and how to set more ambitious targets since the current targets aren’t really getting the job done. (A recent study said that things are actually getting worse when it comes to climate change, as opposed to getting better. Not good, people.) After news of the agreement made headlines, groups were quick to specifically criticize Canada, which according to Greenpeace isn’t “credible” as a world leader in climate change because of the feds commitment to building pipelines in Alberta and B.C. Daniel Mittler, political director of Greenpeace International, also said that the agreement is “morally bankrupt” and simply doesn’t do enough.

• What’s Next?

The group will meet again in September for another climate summit, where UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said setting more ambitious targets will be “at the centre” of his agenda.


• Immigration Unrest

The French are known as fashion trendsetters, so it’s no surprise the yellow vests worn by anti-immigration protesters have become a global statement. While protests continued in France on Saturday, similar rallies popped up in communities around the world — including here at home. Canadians in disagreement with last week’s signing of the UN’s Global Compact for Migration made their voices heard in Saskatoon, Toronto, Moncton, N.B., Calgary, Halifax and Edmonton. Along with immigration measures, protesters also criticized the federal government’s carbon tax and inaction on Alberta’s oil pipelines. In Edmonton, counter-protesters turned out to slam those standing against the migration compact, calling out extreme right-wing, “anti-globalist” and racist undertones of the protests. Thankfully, both sides managed to share their messages peacefully — though the same can’t be said for demonstrations in Belgium, where a gathering of more than 5,000 turned violent, resulting in mounted police deploying tear gas and water cannons on the crowds. CTV News


• Canada: Cut It Out

More cuts are coming to Ontario institutions. Late Friday, administrators across the province’s various school boards received notice that the Ford government was cutting $25 million from Education Programs — Other (a.k.a. EPO). The move means specialized programs at elementary and secondary schools across Ontario will end (including a number of initiatives for at-risk youth, programs that encouraged physical activity in both elementary and secondary students, in-class tutors for in-need children and supports for radicalized youth). In defence of its decision, the Ontario government said the fund had “a long track record of wasteful spending, overspending and millions of dollars of unfunded commitments.” (Speaking of commitments, Premier Ford’s also breaking one to his buddy Ron Taverner, whose controversial appointment as OPP commissioner has been delayed.) CBC News

• U.S.: Another Shakeup

Ever since Donald Trump became president, there’s been a revolving door at the White House, with staffers constantly getting hired, fired and resigning. On Saturday, the president announced that his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, was stepping down at the end of the year (so like, two weeks from now), amidst federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest. The move is a smart one, considering Democrats are taking over the House of Representatives in January, a change that will likely turn up the heat on any investigations into DT’s crew and cabinet. But just as Zinke is leaving his post, a new face is setting up his office: Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, a former member of the Tea Party, who apparently was one of the few who actually wanted the gig. (And who knows how long he’ll have it once POTUS realizes Mulvaney once called him a “terrible human being.”)

• World: Back on the Job

Ranil Mickremesinghe’s got his job back. The Sri Lankan prime minister was reinstated yesterday, one day after his replacement, former president (and now, former PM) Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from the post. Mickremesinghe’s was fired by president Maithripala Sirisena over both policymaking and personal disagreements, sparking seven weeks of political stalemate in the country. Now, Sirisena is eating crow after his pick, Rajapaksa, failed to win a parliamentary majority. PM Mickremesinghe celebrated his reappointment in a tweet (as seems to be political custom these days), saying the moment marked “a victory for Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions and the sovereignty of our citizens.” Al Jazeera


Over my dead body, but, you know, I could be dead.

Rudy Guiliani’s response when asked about special counsel Robert Mueller being allowed to interview President Trump. Global News


• At a Loss

Another young success is gone way too soon. Colin Kroll, the 34-year-old co-founder and CEO of the popular HQ Trivia app, was found dead in his apartment at 8am Sunday morning. The NYPD’s investigation is ongoing as they await the medical examiner’s report to confirm the cause of death, which is being called a drug overdose. Kroll was also the co-founder of Vine, which he left in 2015 to launch the HQ Trivia app with partner, Rus Yusupov. “I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart,” tweeted Yusupov. “He made the world and internet a better place.” TechCrunch


• Same Old Song and Dance

Facebook is in the dog house…again. This time, a bug in the social network’s photo software gave authorized app programmers access to photos users had uploaded to the site, but not shared publicly. The bug was active for only 12 days before it was discovered, yet still managed to affect 6.8 million users. (Click here to find out if you’re one of them.) Those affected can log in to any apps they’ve shared photos with to see which ones might have been seen. “We’re sorry this happened,” said Facebook in a statement, but at this point their apologies are falling on deaf ears. Business Insider


• Boxing: A Biting Chance

Saturday night saw Madison Square Garden transformed into a boxing ring to play host to a face-off between Rocky Fielding and Canelo Alvarez. Despite physical advantages, Fielding was no match for Canelo’s strategic shots to his opponent’s weak spots and went down four times before the ref called the fight at 2:38 in the third round. It’s really no surprise Canelo won – the Mexican boxer has lost only once in 54 fights and is currently the highest paid fighter in the industry. The same night, Columbian-born Toronto fighter Samuel Vargas was up against Argentinian Gabriel Adrian Pereiro at Toronto’s Coca-Cola Coliseum. Despite Pereiro’s unorthodox tactics (he made a number of illegal blows to his opponent’s head and a took a bite out of his neck 😲), Vargas pulled through and won after a series of body shots in the sixth round. “A tough, weird guy,” said Vargas of Pereiro, but the pair hugged it out in the dressing room after the fight. CTV News


• The Coveted Crown

There’s a new Miss Universe in the well, universe. Last night, Catriona Gray (a.k.a. Miss Phillipines) was crowned the winner, two years after her loss at Miss World. The 24-year-old beat out Tamaryn Green of South Africa (who was the first runner-up), followed by Isabella Rodriguez of Venezuela. Gray’s the fourth Filipino to be crowned Miss Universe, succeeding Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margarita Moran in 1973 and Gloria Diaz in 1969. But Gray wasn’t the only contestant making headlines last night — Despite not making it to the top 20, Spain’s Angela Ponce was still considered a winner, after becoming the very first transgender woman to compete in the globally recognized pageant. Philippine Star


• Curiosity (Almost) Killed the Cat

A certain Nova Scotian house cat may have watched one too many Christmas movies this winter. Possibly wanting a Christmas vacation of his own, one-year-old Baloo accidentally travelled by courier all the way to Montreal from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. When Purolator employees in Montreal discovered him, they called the local SPCA to track down his owners. Turns out curiosity got the better of Baloo, who had crawled into a package while his owner’s back was turned and didn’t make a peep. Fortunately volunteers offered to drive Baloo back home, so he got his Christmas miracle after all. (He’s lucky he wasn’t sent by Canada Post.) CBC News


• Canadians won’t be heading to the polls early — our prime minister confirmed that the general election will still be held on Oct. 21, 2019.

• The U.S. isn’t the only country talking sides in Israel. On Saturday, Australia’s PM formally recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — but says it won’t move its embassy until a peace deal with Palestine is in place.

• CBS is putting more money into its OTT services. (‘Bout time, folks.) This weekend, it launched CBSN New York, its first local streaming-only news service.

• The Peanuts gang is heading to Apple. The tech giant signed a deal with Canadian company DHX Media to create new shows, specials and short films about Snoopy, Charlie Brown et al.

• Shakira’s hips may not lie, but apparently her tax returns do. The star is facing a US $16.3-million tax evasion suit filed by Spanish prosecutors.

Pete Davidson is doing OK. The star made a brief appearance on SNL and was visited by NYPD after posting a scary message on Instagram, insinuating he was suicidal.


• Sweet Celebration

It clearly wasn’t a Canadian who decided that national maple syrup day should fall on Dec. 17 (don’t they know the sap doesn’t run until at least March?), but then again, when have we ever complained about having an excuse to nosh on the sticky stuff?


• Bad Bird

Apparently mischievous toddlers aren’t the only ones who need parental controls.

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